Friday, November 6, 2009

U2's Berlin Wall Concert Is True Irony Of E.U. And Global Governance


Outrage over wall blocking free U2 Berlin concert

BERLIN — Irish rockers U2 returned to Berlin for a free mini-concert Thursday in front of the Brandenburg Gate, playing its classic singles and a duet with Jay-Z even as the show was obscured from public view by a nearly 6-1/2-foot (two-meter) high metal barrier.


Bono greeted the crowd with the German words "Berlin, Du bist wunderbar!" (Berlin, you are wonderful!) and the band played a 30-minute, six-song set that featured "Sunday, Bloody Sunday," "One" and "Beautiful Day."


Rapper Jay-Z appeared as a surprise guest and performed Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up" with Bono.


The show, which was free to 10,000 ticket holders who snapped up the tickets online last week in just three hours, drew some controversy because of the barrier surrounding the gig.


Both Berliners and tourists alike saw the irony in building a wall around a concert dedicated to the wall that already has come down.


"It's completely ridiculous that they are blocking the view," said Louis-Pierre Boily, 23, who came to Berlin even though he failed to get U2 tickets. "I thought it's a free show, but MTV probably wants people to watch it on TV to get their ratings up."


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